May we be one that the world may believe
The idea of a small band of believers meeting regularly is rooted in the Gospels. Jesus did that with his small band of disciples. Likewise, the early church often met in smaller and intimate settings in homes. To say that our Connect Groups (CG) carry the essence of our church ministry and life is not a stretch of biblical imagination. We want to invite you to share your spiritual journey with a band of believers.
As a pastor, I have often felt exasperated trying to connect personally and pastorally with my members. When my previous parish had about 300+ members in the earlier years, it seemed a lot easier. SAC is currently ten times that. I am learning that, rightly so, the Vicar cannot be at the centre of everything. He has to trust his CG leaders and Pastors to be the proximus to those who need the presence of someone. The CG keep the Cathedral small and personal.
This week, we welcome Archbishop Glenn Davies from the Diocese of Sydney warmly to our morning Services. Glenn is here to speak at our Diocesan Synod. He is a wonderful friend of our Bishop. In many ways, our diocese has had a good partnership with the Diocese of Sydney through the years. Our Biblical Studies has its roots in Sydney’s Moore College’s biblical programme. Various bishops and clergy had visited us and did ministry with us. We often work together in the missions work in the deaneries, especially Indonesia and Laos. We continue to learn much from one another.
If you are an astute observer, you will notice that the Cathedral has many Anglican friends. Over the Holy Week period, we were deeply enriched by the ministry of Dr Ephraim and Annette Radner from Wycliffe College Toronto. Then some of us spent a week in London with Holy Trinity Brompton, where our close friendship with Nicky Gumbel and his associates was rekindled. And this week, we celebrate our ministry with the Diocese of Sydney who plays an inspirational role in encouraging like-minded Anglican parishes who want to remain biblically faithful.
Indeed over the years, the richness and diversity in the Communion have enriched our Diocese and Cathedral deeply and richly. We are further removed from the original culture and socio-politico context and therefore, less conscious of the divisions and labels. It has been the wisdom of our past bishops and clergy to build friendship and partnerships with a wide spectrum of orthodox Anglicans. As many of our clergy were trained in an ecumenical setting in Trinity Theological College, that has also equipped us well in this direction. The Church also mirrors what is happening in our government: Singapore is small and needs to be friends with everyone.
This has positioned the Diocese to humbly serve and relate with the wide spectrum of many orthodox Anglicans in the Communion. This is also important for our deaneries, where we play a role of bringing the best in the Communion to serve and seed the mission fields.
Strive for unity, said St Paul. We also saw Jesus pray deeply for it in John 17. Unity is hard work, where we share our hearts
and speak well of each other even if our methods and historical heritage are different. May Cathedral continue to be a microcosm of this and be one centre to inspire shared life and ministry within His Body. May we be one, just like the Trinity, that we may be in Christ, so that the world may believe that He has sent us. (see John 17:21)